Why Energy Management in School Districts Saves Millions
Energy management in school districts is one of the most effective ways to save money. Energy cost is second only to payroll for educators, making energy savings the best opportunity to save money in school districts. K-12 schools spend more than $8 billion in energy costs annually, and institutions of higher education spend $6 billion per year. School Facility Managers need to understand the role of energy management in school districts and how it can lead to significant savings.
Energy Management in School Districts Tackles Challenges of Aging Infrastructure and Buildings
Schools are aging across the U.S., and the average age is now 40 years for buildings. Many of the energy-efficiency standards of today were not around when these schools were built. Even though older systems are still in-use, school leaders can still reap savings using an energy management program in both old and new buildings. People overuse energy in both new and old buildings alike. Thus, energy-efficiency improvements are possible in buildings of any age.
Benefits of Energy Management
Implementing energy management in school districts provides many benefits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They include:
Improved teacher retention and employment conditions of non-teaching staff
Improved health of occupants thru asthma, cold and flu reduction
Water and wastewater savings
Monetary savings from these benefits can be used to address a variety of district needs. From increased staff compensation to the purchase of instructional support programs like technology, to direct reinvestment into energy efficient modernizations -- all in line with the district’s strategic needs. Furthermore, benefits build a culture of energy conservation among students, provide better educational experiences for students and reduce total cost of ownership for the building and its assets. Finally, an energy efficient workspace is more welcoming and directly contributes to staff satisfaction and retention.
While the savings can quickly grow into the millions over a decade or more, some schools have achieved savings in the millions within a single year, says Jake Richardson of Clean Technica. Similar success stories are not uncommon, and among Cenergistic-partnering schools, average savings amount to 26 percent across 1,400 districts, with some achieving more than 35 percent.
How Energy Management School Districts Can Start Earning Millions
Savings from energy management reflect averages from schools that have fully implemented energy management programs. For instance, Pinellas County Schools partnered with Cenergistic and have saved $18.5 million to date in cost avoidance, improving student safety, health or funding along the way. School boards can get their piece of the pie by following these steps:
Plan. Planning for energy management involves recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as collecting data.
Do. Acting on data is next, including the use of energy analytics to determine what behaviors will have the biggest impact on energy use and costs.
Assess. The final step goes back to reviewing the actions taken and identifying ways to further increase savings. Schools working with Cenergistic will work closely with the on-site energy specialist during this step to ensure maximum savings are realized through the proper application of technology to track and manage energy.
Start Saving Money to Reinvest in Your School's Future Today
The savings from energy management in school districts are clear. Energy management helps schools optimize energy use and occupant behavior, as well as help with educating students, faculty and operations personnel about how their personal actions affect energy use. Education has a compounding effect as those that learn about energy conservation are more likely to apply it in their own lives further strengthening nationwide conservation efforts and sustainable practices. Basically, schools save energy now, and communities save energy well into the future. Find out how your school can start an energy management program by calling 1-855-798-7779 or completing the online contact form today.